Agenda and minutes

Council - Wednesday, 3rd April, 2019 7.15 pm

Venue: Astley Room - Castle. View directions

Contact: Geoff Durham  01782 742222

No. Item




There were no apologies.



To receive declarations of interest from Members on items contained within this agenda.


There were no declarations of interest stated.


MINUTES pdf icon PDF 81 KB

To consider the minutes of the previous meeting(s)


Resolved:                 That the minutes of the meeting held on 20th February, 2019 be agreed as a correct record.




The Mayor advised members of two upcoming events:-


Mayor’s Charity Ball on Saturday 6 April.

Tribute Night on 20 April.





The Leader of the Council, Councillor Simon Tagg introduced this report to update members on the review of the Council’s Constitution and moved the recommendations. 


Councillor Tagg stated that the Council now had a single copy of the Constitution which was available on the internet.  All Members had been sent the electronic link to this.  The Constitution and Member Support Working Party could now look at all individual sections with a view to further updating.


Councillor Mark Holland seconded the recommendations adding that the  Working Party had been working on this for some time and the, going forward, it would be easier to keep track of any updates.


Councillor Elizabeth Shenton welcomed this and was pleased that there was now a constitution that was fully accessible to all.


Resolved:     (a)       That the updated version of the Constitution,

incorporating changes approved to date by this Council,

for 2019/20 be adopted and that it provides a base

document for amendments/updates required to

incorporate best practice.


(b)        That the Constitution Review Group test the adopted

constitution against best practice, and revert to Council with proposals for improvements.







The Leader of the Council, Councillor Simon Tagg introduced this report to inform Members of required changes to committee memberships following a recent by election and the resignation of David Harrison.


Councillor Tagg drew Member’s attention to paragraph one of the report and an additional sheet containing nominees which had been tabled this evening:


Health, Wellbeing and Partnerships SC: Councillor Parker off, Councillor Owen on.


Audit and Standards: Councillor Burgess off, Councillor Owen on.


Councillor Kearon requested that, in the longer term, the group leaders meet to go over the distribution to committees.


Councillor Tagg stated that he would welcome taking that opportunity but for clarification, added that there was a ‘set’ formula to work to which ensured the correct proportionality.


Resolved:     That the changes to committees as outlined in paragraph 1 and

as stated in italics above, be noted.



MEMBERS ALLOWANCES 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 75 KB

Additional documents:


The Leader of the Council, Councillor Simon Tagg introduced this report to enable Council to determine member Allowances for the year 2019-20.


Councillor Mike Stubbs stated that at last year’s AGM it was resolved that the allowances be retained for the year ahead and reviewed before the start of the 2019/20 municipal year.  The previous motion had not been fulfilled and this report only mirrored what was already in place.


The Council’s Chief Executive, Mr Martin Hamilton stated that there had not been the time to carry out the required surveys to complete the piece of work needed for this. The recommendation rolled forward the recommendation of the previous year and it would be looked at in the year ahead.


Councillor Simon Tagg advised Members of a revision to recommendation c that had been tabled this evening which asked for the constitution and Member Support Working Group  to review Members Allowances.


Across Staffordshire, Newcastle’s allowances were the average of other Authorities.


Councillor Shenton welcomed the recommendations and encouraged all Members to undertake any Members surveys to ensure a complete picture.


Resolved:     (i)         That it be noted that Members have received no increase

in Allowances since 2006 – 13 years;

(ii)          That Member Allowances for the year 2019-20 remain as currently set, with no increase this year.

(iii)         That the Constitution and Member support Working Group agree a timetable for future reviews of Member’ Allowances by the Independent Remuneration Panel following a survey of Members about their ward councillor and special responsibility roles.




To receive a statement by the Leader of the Council on the activities and decisions of Cabinet and items included on the Forward Plan.


To follow..


The Leader, Councillor Simon Tagg submitted a report which provided an update to Members on the activities and decisions of the Cabinet, together with the Forward Plan.


The Statement was taken a paragraph at a time to allow for questions to be asked.


Paragraph 2.1

Councillor John Cooper asked the Leader if Paul Farrelly MP had replied to

the letter sent to him by the Leader.


The Leader confirmed that no response had yet been received.


Councillor Kearon stated that this was a problem shared with Stoke on Trent City Council and asked if any attempt had been made by their officers/Administration for support from their MP’s


It was confirmed that meetings had taken place with civil servants and Stoke on Trent Public Protection Committee members.  However, the Leader was not aware if Stoke City Council had contacted their MP’s.


Councillor Kearon also asked what the evidence base was that there were achievable options for public transport.


Councillor Holland stated that the bus engine retrofit design was a separate scheme and reminded members that the buses were not owned by the Council.  The Council’s Cabinet was eager to find a solution that did not include a chargeable clean air zone.  In time the emissions would reduce as more vehicles became hybrid.


Paragraph 3.1

Councillor Helena Maxfield was pleased that the Kidsgrove Community Group had involvement in the Lyme Lottery but stated that a more rigorous promotion of this was required.


Councillor Kyle Robinson spoke in favour of this  and asked how it could be improved upon.


The Leader agreed that more promotion was needed.


Paragraph 3.3

Councillor Jenny Cooper referred to the funding of £74,000 given by the Government to improve parks and open spaces.  Councillor Cooper asked where this extra money would be spent.


The Leader stated that it would be used in various parks across the Borough including Lyme Valley, Bradwell, Orme Road, a skate Park in Silverdale, Clough Hall Park, Cross Heath, Chesterton and Knutton.  Money would also be spent on clean-ups in Newcastle and Kidsgrove Town Centres.  The Leader agreed to circulate a list of sites which would benefit from this funding.


Paragraph 4

Councillor Emily Horsfall asked how much of the £420,000 Future High streets Fund bid would be spent on consultants.


The Leader stated that some of the Fund would be put towards the asbestos issue at the former Civic Offices and that expertise would need to be brought in from outside of the Council.  Members would be sent the Executive Summary of the bid.



Councillor Gary White asked about a commitment which he felt had previously been given for a Joint Working Group.


The Leader would speak with Councillor White after the meeting.



Councillor Sylvia Dymond enquired why Kidsgrove had not been considered for a slice of the Fund.


The Leader stated that only one bid could be made as a Borough.  However, this did not include other ideas that the council had for Kidsgrove. In addition, a Task Force would be set  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.



Reports are attached for:


a)         Economy, Environment and Place Scrutiny Committee

b)         Health, Wellbeing and Partnerships Scrutiny Committee


Additional documents:


Written reports were submitted for the Economy, Environment and Place Scrutiny Committee and the Health, Wellbeing and Partnerships Scrutiny Committee.


The Finance, Assets and Performance Scrutiny Committee had not met since the previous Full Council meeting.


The Committee had met twice since the last Full Council meeting and they had looked at the Treasury Management Strategy, Revenue, Budgets and Fees and Charges.


Resolved:     That the reports be received.




Reports are attached for the following:


a)         Audit and Standards Committee

b)         Licensing and Public Protection Committee


A verbal report will be given for the Planning committee.

Additional documents:


Written reports were submitted for the Committees that had met since the last Council meeting except for the Planning Committee where the Chair gave a verbal update:


The Chair Councillor Fear, advised that the Committee had continued to meet on a regular basis.  There had been some very large applications put through the Committee recently. 


Members were reminded that there was provision for members to speak at Committee on applications within their ward.


Members were encouraged to engage with enforcement issues.




Resolved:     That the reports be received.




A notice of motion, under Appendix 7 – paragraph 12 other than those listed in Appendix 7 – paragraph 10 of the Constitution must reach the Chief Executive at least ten clear days before the relevant Meeting of the Council.

Additional documents:


Two Motions were received:


1.    Climate Emergency, proposed by Councillor Tony Kearon and seconded by Councillor Emily Horsfsall.


An amendment to the Motion, proposed by Councillor Mark Holland and seconded by Councillor Trevor Johnson was submitted, as follows:


This council notes:


That 41 councils have passed ‘climate emergency’ motions since the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report on Global Warming of 1.5°C was published in October 2018. This report describes the major environmental harms that a 2°C rise in world temperature is likely to cause and urges that governments and related authorities world-wide seek to limit global temperature rises to 1.5°C.


That there is cross party support for ambitious carbon reduction strategies – the 41 councils that have already passed such a motion include Labour led, Conservative led, Liberal Democrat led and NOC authorities.


That the IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C argues that limiting Global temperature rises to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national Governments AND local Government working in collaboration with partner agencies, organisations, groups and local communities.


This council further notes:


§  The establishment in 2007 and facilitation by Staffordshire County Council of the Staffordshire Climate Change Partnership and climate change adaptation group.


§  That in 2008 this council was a signatory to the Nottingham Declaration, making a public commitment to tackle climate change in concert with other councils.


§  That this council subscribed in September 2013 to the 'Climate Local' commitment, preparing and authorising an action plan to reduce carbon emissions and to promote action to tackle climate change with our partners and residents.


§  That since 1990, the UK has cut its carbon emissions by more than any other G20 country as a proportion of its economic growth, through the ambitious measures of the Climate Change Act 2008; is on target to reduce all greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050; and will see the closure of all coal-fired power stations by 2025.


§  That the councils, businesses and individuals of Newcastle-under-Lyme have demonstrated their ongoing commitment to reducing CO2 emissions in the Borough, which have fallen from 1024.4 kilotonnes in 2005 to 807.8 kt in 2016, the most recent year for which data is available (source: BEIS/National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory).



This council acknowledges the importance of leading and not following public opinion; recognises its duty as a key local employer, service provider and public authority; chooses to renew its commitment to halting anthropogenic climate change; and therefore resolves:


1)    To aim to make Newcastle-under-Lyme a carbon-neutral borough by 2030.

2)    To invite the Economy, Environment and Place Scrutiny Committee to review the council’s record on mitigation and adaptation in respect of climate change and to make recommendations to cabinet with regard to necessary future action.

3)    To ask the cabinet and senior officers to examine what more can be done by this council to deliver a carbon-neutral borough, and for the leader of the council to produce and publish within six months a plan  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.




Councillor Dave Jones asked the Leader of the Council for an update on the number of contact made through the website in connection with the odours from Walley’s Quarry landfill site.


Councillor Simon Tagg confirmed that since the investigation began, sixty-one cases of odour complaints had been received.


The Borough council would work closely with the Environment Agency.  A gas monitoring station had been deployed at the Knutton Lane depot.


There had been a lot of complaints during the cold weather when air pressure had been high.


Everyone who had complained about the odours had been written to.



Councillor Jones asked the Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Wellbeing what the Council had done in respect of anti-social behaviour at the former Silverdale Railway Station site.


Councillor Jill Waring stated that there had only been one complaint in respect of this.


Shrubbery and thorn bushes would be planted along both sides of the platform and this would be funded by the LAP.  Members were advised that the police had put additional patrols in that area.


Councillor Jones advised Councillor Waring that there had been an increased severity of incidents but they had not been reported.  Councillor Jones requested a meeting with Councillors Waring, Rout and the police.  This was agreed and would be arranged.



Councillor Jones asked the Portfolio Holder for Planning and Growth how Section 106 monies were distributed for the development of social housing.


Councillor Paul Northcott advised that approximately £219,000 had been received under Section 106 agreements.  Registered providers were invited to bid and the fund would be used as match funding for thirty units of affordable housing.


Councillor Jones asked the Portfolio Holder if he would commit to more people bidding into that process.  Councillor Northcott agreed, stating that competitive tendering was always done without member’s input.  Councillor Northcott would also look into ways of getting a more diverse selection of bidders.



Councillor Andy Fear asked the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Efficiency for an update on the progress of the sale of land at Deans Lane.


Councillor Sweeney confirmed that the land had been sold at £901,000.


Councillor Fear then asked what impact this would have on the Council’s borrowing requirement.


Councillor Sweeney confirmed that there was no need to undertake borrowing for 2019/20.



Councillor Kyle Robinson asked the Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Wellbeing what the Council was doing to tackle rising knife crime.


Councillor Jill Waring confirmed that the Council had an active Youth Violence and Vulnerability Working Group.  The Council was working with the police to tackle the problem and using ASB enforcement powers.  There was a scheme called ‘Operation Spectre’ who engaged with schools and colleges to give talks.    


Councillor Robinson stated that knife crime had risen by 88% in Staffordshire and that police officers had been cut from the streets.


Had the Cabinet considered offering a knife amnesty along with Staffordshire County Council?


Councillor Waring confirmed that a knife amnesty was part of Operation Spectre.



Councillor Robinson asked the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.



To receive from Members any petitions which they wish to present to the Council.



Councillor Brian Johnson handed in a petition on behalf of Knutton Residents against the closure of Dave’s Fish Bar in Knutton.



To consider any communications which pursuant to Appendix 7 – paragraph 7 of the constitution are, in the opinion of the Mayor, of an urgent nature and to pass thereon such resolutions as may be  deemed necessary.


There was no urgent business.  However, Councillor Simon Tagg paid tribute to David Harrison who had recently resigned as Councillor and wished him all the best for the future.